Why Solicitors Need to Think About Their Media Profiles
Personal branding is an essential component of a modern solicitor's marketing strategy. Even a small amount of media engagement can reap huge benefits for a law firm or individual lawyer.
As it becomes increasingly competitive to win leads, effective PR and marketing are crucial for firms to stand out. However, it can often be difficult for lawyers to justify spending their time on PR and personal branding when they have casework to do. Yet, engaging with press at consumer publications is still essential for winning new customers and simple techniques such as sharing legal comments on trending news, TV shows or celebrities can be an effective way to raise the profile of both yourself and your firm.
“Personal branding” is a buzzword that is tossed around the internet these days, but the value of a well maintained online profile should not be underestimated. From raising your own personal profile within the industry to generating more leads for your firm, personal branding is an effective marketing technique that could enhance both yours and your firm’s reputation, if managed properly. Nicola Kenyon, PR Manager at leading medical negligence firm Patient Claim Line, explains the value of personal branding and shares tips on how to achieve success with your own personal brand below.
Break Down the Customer/Lawyer Barrier
For lawyers operating in more traditional consumer-facing law, it can be difficult to find the right balance between positioning your firm as authoritative as well as approachable. Trust and approachability are values that law firms often struggle to translate to their customers. A recent report published on the Law Society revealed that the general public often see lawyers as ‘arrogant, disinterested or unapproachable’ .
Personal branding could offer a manageable, modern way to break down the barrier between consumers and legal teams. By maintaining a personal brand online, such as through releasing comments to newspapers or even maintaining a social media account dedicated to legal advice, lawyers can offer a more approachable face within the firm.
Personal branding could offer a manageable, modern way to break down the barrier between consumers and legal teams.
Share Your Expertise to a Wider Audience
You may be widely recognised as an expert within your field of law, but a potential customer or lead may not recognise you as such based on industry qualifications or accreditations that they are unfamiliar with. So in this instance, a strong personal brand on social media and popular news sites could offer a ‘way in’ with potential customers. For example, at Patient Claim Line, we regularly monitor news trends to identify opportunities for our lawyers to comment on popular news topics. Our legal team commented on a medical negligence storyline in Coronation Street which was covered by the Express and a series of other national news sites, and we received a number of website visits from new users as well as inquiries after publication of the story. Newsjacking allowed us to reach out to a wider audience who may not even be looking for, or know that they need legal representation.
Build Authority with Recognisable Trust Signals
In the age of fake news, internet scams and social media ‘experts’ pedaling poor advice, trust signals are becoming increasingly important for businesses. But whilst awards, accreditations and qualifications are important stamps to have within the industry, they’re often not as obvious trust signals for customers. However, mainstream media offers the opportunity to create trust signals with news outlets that consumers trust, for example through sharing a lawyer’s expertise with the BBC or magazines that are read by your target market.
Social media platforms play an important role in how people consume information and should not be neglected in your marketing efforts. A study by communications firm Edelman found that 41% of users still trust information on social media. According to a 2018 Ofcom report, 44% of adults cite social media as their first point of call for news and information, and whilst users today may be more inclined to research information themselves than take it at face value, having visibility in this platform is still important. By investing in spokespeople for your firm, or your own personal branding, firms can have an authoritative, genuine position on these platforms to share credible information and expertise.
Bring in More Leads Personally
Whilst investing in personal branding can do a lot for the firm that lawyers work at, its main goal is to raise the profile of the individual – an area that will be of increasing importance for lawyers personally. A strong personal profile within the media will bring in more leads, which will raise a lawyer’s reputation with the board, their colleagues and the industry overall.